The Speaking Chair [poem]

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Rays of rising sun had struck the chair and table awkwardly
as if through shyness (though that can’t be proven here).
A corner of that little plastic throne was shredded –
worn and torn by countless swift unthinking hands
and now forlorn we stare each other coolly in the eye.
(How can we ever know if things are real? Who decides?
Perhaps that chair is just a figment of my mind –
my over-fevered dream imagination working overtime).
Stuck inside my decomposing head, that corner of the chair
becomes a finesome hirsute masterpiece instead;
and I recoil. What if we, at this stage of our river’s flow,
are not equipped to full discern the working of a brain which
dwells within a chair or any other dense unanimated thing
but then, at some far future date develop apparatus which
can see a brain (or more) is plainly there? And if you tell me
that no chair has ever moved I will reply by saying that not
just a little chair but every single thing in earth or sea or space
or in the air vibrates and turns in ways beyond our mind
can nowly see. And furthermore I here declare that nothing
anywhere is what it seems to us to be. We, in our desperation,
give our mundane names to things and then there are the
frames we bring in which to trap the essence of an object
lest it acts in ways which pull the wretched rug of rationality
from underneath the boring functionality which makes our feet
stay firmly on the ground. And all around is light and something
we have not learned yet to name, nor ever will so long as in
these lumpy bodies people dance the karma-dharma game.
I’ve sought that unnamed something through the halo of my days;
yet here the worn-out chair before me speaks in brainful ways.

© Alan Morrison, 2013

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